Shaw’s Tavern

Five years ago, I walked into Shaw’s Tavern, was unable to get bar service, and walked out, never to return…until tonight.

I was doing some serious dinner research prior to leaving the house and settled on Shaw’s Tavern for two reasons: 1. Prime walkability, and 2. I was having mad cravings for a burger. It was time to give Shaw’s Tavern another shot. It can’t live on the banned list forever. I was ready to forgive and forget.

20171104_174601.jpgThey have happy hour on Saturday. Yay, right? Wrong. Unless you like Miller Lite, then I guess it’s good for you, but you should probably reconsider your priorities. Needless to say, their draft list was particularly un-special, and the lack of decent happy hour specials made me feel not quite so bad about ordering an $11 cranberry margarita. But nothing would prepare me for what was to come next…

…PLASTIC. GLASSWARE. Their water and cocktails were all served in cheap plastic Collins glasses. Is this a five year-old’s birthday party? My husband also had to request three different beers (one draft, two bottled) before he came across one that they actually had in stock. The cranberry margarita was pretty decent, nothing life-changing.

I ordered the Heidenburger, medium, with a side salad. It’s always a gamble requesting a particular burger done-ness when you aren’t sure if they will actually cook it to your specification. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume that I truly did want my burger cooked medium.


The flavors were good, the salad was fresh, they didn’t skimp on ingredients, and it was cooked medium-well, if I’m being generous. It probably needed more Thousand Island, but overall it was fine. I ordered a burger. I got a burger. They upheld their end of the bargain. Transaction over.

My husband got the chipotle chicken pasta. Check it out:


If you’re thinking, Wow, that looks like something I got for $9.99 at Applebee’s!, you’d be pretty close, and you would have paid half the price. I’d be impressed with this if my 24 year-old brother made it because, while not bad, it was just some boring-ass pasta with cream sauce and standard veggies. It was fine, it was finished, and everything tasted the way it was supposed to. But if I want Applebee’s, I’ll go to Applebee’s [Note: I will never want Applebee’s, especially not on U Street].

We got the check and hauled ass across the street to Right Proper for drinks and dessert. The food at Shaw’s was unimaginative, insanely overpriced given the quality, and earned them their old spot back on the D-list.

Price: $30 per person.

Bottom line: Shaw’s Tavern is either Rich-Man’s-Chili’s, or perhaps Tasteless-Man’s-Boundary-Stone. Go to one of those places instead.

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